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Old January 17, 2014, 06:44 PM   #1
angel71rs
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Rossi design allow this?

My barber shot himself in the leg. Said he dropped his Rossi, it landed hammer first, went off and nailed him in the shin. He said hammer wasn't cocked. I immediately asked if the police believed him. He said not really, they questioned neighbors to see if they had noticed issues between him and his wife, loud arguments, etc. But they found no dirt and left it alone.

Not familiar with Rossi design, only revolvers I have are Rugers. IIRC, reviews I read on them were not good in regards to reliability or accuracy. But that pales if they can indeed go off if dropped.

BTW, he said it didn't hurt that much. I told him I'd take his word for it.
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Old January 17, 2014, 07:10 PM   #2
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I would be easy to figure it out by looking at the gun. By not knowing the model, it would be hard to say.
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Old January 17, 2014, 07:16 PM   #3
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I'm not real sure, but isn't that the reason for the dreaded "lock" on the S&W's???
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Old January 17, 2014, 07:29 PM   #4
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I'm not real sure, but isn't that the reason for the I'm not real sure, but isn't that the reason for the dreaded "lock" on the S&W's???on the S&W's???
No, It's the transfer bar safety that keeps revolvers from firing by dropping on the hammer with a loaded chamber under it.
The dreaded "lock" is a useless safety locked, and unlocked by a key that is there purely because of lawyers!
Don't know if the particular Rossi had a transfer bar, or if it was defective.
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Old January 17, 2014, 07:56 PM   #5
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It's not a matter of if the Rossi design 'allows' this type of discharge; but rather did this specific firearm discharge in the manner reported. The only way to determine that is to examine the specific gun.
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Old January 17, 2014, 08:27 PM   #6
lee n. field
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Quote:
Not familiar with Rossi design, only revolvers I have are Rugers. IIRC, reviews I read on them were not good in regards to reliability or accuracy. But that pales if they can indeed go off if dropped.
If it has a hammer block or transfer bar, it's basically not possible. They both achieve the same end, but in opposite ways. With either of those in the design, the gun can not "just go off" without the trigger being pulled.

Quote:
I'm not real sure, but isn't that the reason for the dreaded "lock" on the S&W's???
No.
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Old January 17, 2014, 09:18 PM   #7
angel71rs
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Talking to him it was obvious he was kind of new to firearms. Couldn't give me a model number other than it was "a 38", didn't know what a transfer bar was when I asked him if it had one. Also asked him what kind of load he had in it, all he could say was "hollow points".

Told me he was going to keep it unloaded from now on, then load it in case he needed it. Said it was ok since we live in a pretty safe city. I didn't want to come across like a know it all or like I was busting his chops, so I didn't bother to tell him why I would disagree with that.

Local community college offers a free safety & proficiency course, I recommended it to him.
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Old January 17, 2014, 09:35 PM   #8
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If a transfer bar, almost certainly not. *Maybe* if the action was so gummed up with crud that the trigger was held back but...I've never heard of that.

If a hammer block, well, yeah, maybe. If the hammer block breaks off, the gun reverts to no-safety like an 1873 Colt.
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Old January 17, 2014, 10:19 PM   #9
James K
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The Rossi is basically a copy of the S&W and like the S&W has a hammer block safety (not a transfer bar) and a rebound slide. It is possible that something was not installed right or, if the gun is not new, that some previous owner tampered with the action.

The exact cause of the failure would be impossible to determine without examining the gun.

"If the hammer block breaks off, the gun reverts to no-safety like an 1873 Colt."
Not really as the Rossi and the S&W still have a rebound slide which will prevent forward movement of the hammer unless the blow is really hard.

I have investigated a couple of those "it went off when it was dropped" incidents and all I will say is that I tend to be skeptical.

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Old January 17, 2014, 10:52 PM   #10
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James K, that is current production Rossi, correct? Hasn't Rossi made a range of models and designs over the years? Could it be an old gun of a different design?
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Old January 18, 2014, 12:10 AM   #11
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Ahhh . . . wouldn't the follow up investigation by the police have determined why it went off - other than "being dropped"? After all, an individual was shot - either on purpose or by accident which the investigation following the shooting should have determined. If they questioned the shooting enough to check with neighbors, etc. to see if there might be any hanky panky going on, and that was ruled out . . . that firearm should have been checked as a part of the investigation either by a police armorer or a competent gunsmith to determine the cause for it discharging. Or am I expecting too much?

I'm not doubting the shooting . . . but if that had happened to me, and I wasn't that familiar with handguns - that puppy would be gone and I'd be looking for something that I knew was safe if ever dropped. It would be interesting to see the resulting wound and the path of the bullet . . . was it dropped? Or was he "playing" and did he shoot himself accidentally?
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Old January 18, 2014, 12:53 AM   #12
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"Ahhh . . . wouldn't the follow up investigation by the police have determined why it went off…"

Not necessarily, especially with a young officer. Among other things, I work as a coroner and once watched a 30 something LEO spend a couple of minutes trying to figure out how to open the cylinder of a revolver. I don't handle weapons at death scenes so I verbally instructed her on how to get it open. This is a very competent LEO but she has only been exposed to semi-autos. I think a lot of these young people, while being good at their jobs, just don't know much about revolvers. It's a training issue.
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Old January 18, 2014, 08:43 AM   #13
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A friends rossi 462 has the firing pin on the hammer. I don't know for sure but it does look like it could go off if dropped on the hammer
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Old January 18, 2014, 10:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burrhead
This is a very competent LEO but she has only been exposed to semi-autos. I think a lot of these young people, while being good at their jobs, just don't know much about revolvers. It's a training issue.
No, it is not. The PD's obligation is to train an officer to competency with issued or approved firearms. Conscientious officers go the extra mile and learn some things for themselves, like how to safely handle and clear a wide variety of weapons. I also tell them if they don't know how to clear a specific weapon, for God's sake call somebody out who does.

The second worst thing that can happen is the officer looks like an idiot by being unable to perform a simple clearing drill, that anyone watching knows or can figure out. The worst thing that can happen is that the officer shoots themselves or someone else via ignorant handling of a loaded firearm.

The situation you described should never have happened under any circumstance and I guarantee you it would not happen twice on my watch.
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Last edited by Sarge; January 18, 2014 at 11:50 AM. Reason: sp
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Old January 18, 2014, 11:47 AM   #15
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Doubletap. Sorry.
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Last edited by Sarge; January 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Deleted double post
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Old January 18, 2014, 02:51 PM   #16
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The dreaded "lock" is a useless safety locked, and unlocked by a key that is there purely because of lawyers!
No - the lock is a useless hindrance and added expense imposed on the buying public by an agreement between the British owned company Tompkins PLC and the Clinton administration.

"Lawyers" had very little to do with it.
They (lawyers) were as much pawns in it as anyone else.

Several cities had already filed suits against firearms makers & the Clinton administration was on the verge of launching a series of full blown federal suits.

Tompkins PLC, the owners of Smith and Wesson @ the time, signed an agreement w/the Clinton administration to call off the threatened law suits.

IMHO - it's important we not forget why things are the way they are & who was behind these things.
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Old January 18, 2014, 04:07 PM   #17
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"The situation you described should never have happened under any circumstance and I guarantee you it would not happen twice on my watch."

Sarge, don't take this the wrong way. The protocols I work under are that the law enforcement agency has control of the scene and I have control of the victim. The agencies can be the National Park Service, US Border Patrol, Texas Dept. of Public Safety, the local sheriff's dept., local PD or the Texas Rangers. As long as they don't cross over into my duties I don't have a valid complaint. I don't work for them and they don't work for me.

That said, I have taken note that a lot of the younger LEOs I've been around don't have a broad knowledge of firearms. I still consider that a problem that should be addressed in better training. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
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Old January 18, 2014, 05:01 PM   #18
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According to Rossi, the guns can't fire when dropped:

http://www.rossiusa.com/pdf/REVOLVER.PDF
Quote:
The hammer is of the “rebounding” type, in which the firing pin is
thrust into contact with a chambered cartridge except when the trigger
pulled. In addition, the hammer-trigger mechanism incorporates an
internal hammer block which interposes a block of steel between
hammer and firing pin.

The hammer block is withdrawn only when
hammer is cocked, thus preventing an accidental discharge should
revolver be dropped, uncocked, and sustain a sharp blow on the on the
hammer.

Therefore, unlike most single-action revolvers, your Rossi revolver is
mechanically safe
when carried with the cylinder fully loaded.
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Old January 19, 2014, 02:26 AM   #19
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Ahhh . . . wouldn't the follow up investigation by the police have determined why it went off - other than "being dropped"?
Based on the incidents I have seen over the years (I'm not an LEO)...
If there's no indication of a friend/neighbor/relative shooting him, and the incident being covered up; and no further injuries or threats to neighbors... it just gets swept under the rug.
There's no point in wasting resources on figuring out what the malfunction was (if it even was a malfunction ), when you can just hand the guy a citation for discharging a firearm within city limits, or let them wallow in their own embarrassment.
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Old January 19, 2014, 12:46 PM   #20
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Dropped?

Scuse me, but how do you drop a gun? Does your barber drop his scissors or his clippers at work? Does he drop his food when he is eating? If so, that's OK. BUT...

Handling a gun is serious business. You have to bear down and pay attention to the gun. Handling a gun is like handling a baby... Do you think you would drop you 5-day-old granddaughter? Hell no you wouldn't. Why? Because you'd be paying attention to the max.
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Old January 19, 2014, 12:53 PM   #21
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Rossi uses the hammer block, unlikely to have an accidental discharge.
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Old January 19, 2014, 04:28 PM   #22
Crazy88Fingers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FilthyHarry View Post
Scuse me, but how do you drop a gun? Does your barber drop his scissors or his clippers at work? Does he drop his food when he is eating? If so, that's OK. BUT...

Handling a gun is serious business. You have to bear down and pay attention to the gun. Handling a gun is like handling a baby... Do you think you would drop you 5-day-old granddaughter? Hell no you wouldn't. Why? Because you'd be paying attention to the max.
I think I can safely say a baby or two has been dropped throughout the course of human history.
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Old January 19, 2014, 05:25 PM   #23
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Every Rossi revolver I have worked on had a transfer bar safety. It is possible that it may have been removed, in this case, but a quick look would tell you whether it was there or not. I should have said hammer block instead of transfer bar...my error.

Last edited by kerreckt; January 19, 2014 at 06:30 PM.
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Old January 19, 2014, 06:04 PM   #24
lee n. field
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Quote:
Every Rossi revolver I have worked on had a transfer bar safety. It is possible that it may have been removed, in this case, but a quick look would tell you whether it was there or not.
Every picture of a Rossi I have seen that shows it, shows a hammer mounted firing pin.

The question I would have would be, was there a time when Rossi revolvers didn't have internal (hammer block or transfer bar) safeties, and did this individual have such a gun?

I'm betting no. More likely unsafe handling.
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Last edited by lee n. field; January 19, 2014 at 08:57 PM.
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Old January 20, 2014, 06:34 PM   #25
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Call me Sherlock Holmes if you will by I have a feeling that gun wasn't dropped!
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